Construction and Manufacturing

The construction industry is vast and includes carpenters, plumbers, electricians, plant operators, plasterers, concreters, fire sprinkler technicians, trades assistants and more.

The manufacturing industry includes a wide array of trades, draftspersons and assistants in the fabricating, repair and maintenance of a diversity of products from ships, trains and aircraft to household appliances.

The industries are regulated by modern awards including the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010, Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2020, Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010, Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020 and the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2020.

Some challenging issues in these industries include:

  • distant work and FIFO and DIDO arrangements;
  • apprentice employment and entitlements;
  • significant use of contracting where individual workers contract through their own companies;
  • complexity of award allowances and penalties; and
  • in some cases, industry specific redundancy schemes and a special definition of “redundancy”.

WorkLegal has the industry understanding to assist you to navigate the complexities of the law in these areas.  Some of the areas in which you may need assistance are:

  • redundancy processes and entitlements;
  • negotiating or reviewing your employment contract;
  • harassment at work;
  • disciplinary action and termination; and
  • advice about entitlements.

For longstanding experience and help when you need it, Contact WorkLegal today.

Have you experienced difficulty working in the construction and manufacturing industry? Contact us for early advice.

1300 223 398

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Case Study – Redundancy for a construction worker

John was a trades qualified carpenter who was engaged by a small building company in the construction of residential homes.  During an economic downturn the company director told John his position was terminated for redundancy, and that he was not entitled to any severance pay because the business was a “small business” according to the National Employment Standard.  John took legal advice that his position was covered by the Building and Construction General On-Site Award 2010 which had an industry-specific scheme and that the size of business did not affect his entitlement to severance pay under the Award.  The company director realised his mistake and agreed to pay the severance pay entitlement.

Case Study – Discrimination at a construction worksite

Henry immigrated to Australia 10 years ago but still has an accent from his home country.   He is the target of racist jokes and comments.  At first he tries to ignore the behaviour, hoping it will stop.  Unfortunately the behaviour continues and it starts to affect Henry’s health.  Henry goes to see a lawyer who helps Henry to make a confidential complaint to the business owner.  The business owner takes sensible action to introduce a workplace policy against racial discrimination and reinforces the importance of the policy in the workplace.  The unwanted behaviour stops.   Henry’s situation was able to be improved quickly because Henry took advice and action before his health deteriorated further and when the work relationships could still be repaired.

Case Study – Failure to Reasonably consider Redeployment

Mr Aldred was a construction worker on the Docklands project.  His employer was a national construction company with over 1000 employees.  He was notified by the employer that his position was no longer required in the project.  When he asked if any other jobs were available, the employer’s representative said he did not know.  No investigation was made within the company about available jobs in other projects and Mr Aldred’s employment was terminated for redundancy.  He applied for unfair dismissal, saying he would have relocated to Queensland to any suitable positions that were available there.  The Fair Work Commission found that Mr Aldred was unfairly dismissed as it would have been reasonable for the employer to redeploy Mr Aldred to another position for which he had suitable qualifications and experience.

Aldred v Hutchinson Pty Ltd [2012] FWA 8289

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Based in Gold Coast Queensland, we assist our valued clients wherever they are in Australia.